Monday, 18 April 2016

Swapping Parties

The Republicans decided to give up the liberal plutocracy of California and the Northeast, with pockets elsewhere, while taking on the Northern white working class and the white South.

The Democrats decided to give up the Northern white working class and the white South (although that latter process did not become complete at Congressional level until 2014, and remains far from being so at local level in many places), while taking on the liberal plutocracy of California and the Northeast, with pockets elsewhere.

Well, the Northern white working class and the white South do not want the economic policies that the Republican Party inherited from the liberal plutocracy of California and the Northeast, with pockets elsewhere.

Nor does the liberal plutocracy of California and the Northeast, with pockets elsewhere, want the economic policies that the Democratic Party inherited from the Northern white working class and from the white South.

Donald Trump, however paradoxically, would seem to be the result of the first trend. Hillary Clinton, without even the cover that it was necessary for her husband to provide a generation ago, would seem to be the result of the second trend.

That Trump is by no stretch of the imagination a social conservative reflects the fact that the Northern white working class and, to a greater extent than is often realised, even the white South are nowhere near as conservative socially as they used to be, and are vastly less likely to care whether or not a politician, as such, was.

Moreover, the South itself is undergoing rapid and dramatic change. One of the most startling phenomena is that the children and grandchildren of blacks who left are moving back, but as business and professional people to the suburbs of cities such as Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta.

There, they are slowly but surely shifting those suburbs, cities and states back to the Democratic Party. But to the Democratic Party as formed in and by the black North and black California.

What, though, if the Democratic nominee were not Hillary Clinton, but Bernie Sanders?

At least if he were to become President, or if someone very like him were to do so in 2020 or 2024, then one of the most striking consequences would be in Britain.

New Labour's Atlanticism, by then already an anachronistic word, was based on agreement with the global Messianic zeal of the New Democrats and of the neoconservatives.

But the Old Labour Right's Atlanticism was a far nobler preference for the New Deal Democrats over Stalin.

In its present form, barely recognisable from this time last year, the Labour Party could lead the British Left out of the profound Americoscepticism of the Clinton, Bush and Obama years, and into a very strong affinity with an America led by Sanders Democrats.

Yes, Sanders is to the right of Jeremy Corbyn. But FDR and Truman were to the right of Attlee. And while Truman and Attlee were united in belligerence, Sanders and Corbyn would be united in its opposite.

The only sour note would be struck by those in both parties who were still pining and whining for the days of Bush-Blair and the Clintons. They would be on their own in that.

No comments:

Post a comment